Online Work Tips & Best Practices

How to Hire an Awesome Developer on oDesk: Part I

January 23, 2014 by

I've been using oDesk for almost two years now—hiring for various types of profiles and skills, from multiple locations around the world—and it's been filled with a lot of ups and a few downs. When I was new to oDesk, I didn’t really know how to properly evaluate freelancers. What's more, it's always difficult to evaluate a skill you don’t have yourself. As a result, my turnover rate was pretty high. After a lot of trial and error, I fixed my process. I can now say confidently that most of the freelancers I'm hiring are awesome, and I believe they enjoy collaborating with me. After all, hiring the right people and managing them well are skills that only become more important when hiring online. So how can you have the same result? Check out the steps below for guidance on how to hire an awesome developer on oDesk. Today I'll go through the first three tips, and stay tuned tomorrow for the next three. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

How to Sell: Finding the Right Approach for Your Business

January 17, 2014 by

Now more than ever, companies need to understand the nuances of how and why people buy products or services. Is an as-simple-as-possible buying process the best way to convert prospects? Or do they need a full consultation with an expert before making a decision? In his recent Linkedin column, oDesk CEO Gary Swart advises businesses to answer these fundamental questions before creating a sales plan. Read Full Article

Online Work Tips & Best Practices

Making the Leap From Freelancers to Digital Agency

January 16, 2014 by

How can a few entrepreneurial friends—each doing their own thing—take a leap and launch a digital agency together? Making such a big change is a lot easier when you already have paying clients and a full pipeline of leads. When it came to getting Matchnode, our Chicago-based digital marketing agency, off the ground, we already had both—thanks in large part to oDesk. Learn how Matchnode evolved from an idea among friends to a viable business. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The Online Work Revolution: Are You Ready?

January 9, 2014 by

A rapidly growing number of businesses are turning to online work, where they can hire the best talent for any project—efficiently building and managing teams that span the US and even the globe. Whether you’re in engineering, sales, marketing, operations, or customer support, many of your peers and competitors are already leveraging online work. To make sure you stay ahead of the curve, check out oDesk's new white paper, "The Online Work Revolution," which is full of practical examples about creating and managing a remote workforce. It invites you to take inventory of your existing efforts to see if any of the "types of work being done online" apply to your company, in which case you could see significant benefits from trying online work. You can also read about how leading companies reap the benefits of online work, and learn how to implement online work at your company. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Book Review - "Remote: Office Not Required"

January 7, 2014 by

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson's recent book "Remote: Office Not Required" delves into some of the underlying philosophies about remote work that shape the culture of their company, 37Signals. More of a collection of loosely connected, blog-like articles than a definitive management tome, the book largely covers content that will be familiar territory for this blog’s readership. That being said, the authors speak from hard-won experience and there are plenty of practical takeaways that make the book worth a read for even seasoned remote workers and managers. Read Full Article

All Things oDesk

We Hear You: A Letter to Freelancers About Yesterday’s News

December 19, 2013 by

After announcing our exciting plan to merge our company with Elance, I was overwhelmed and humbled by thousands of emails. A number of you asked about potential changes to oDesk. Let me be clear: oDesk is constantly evolving and innovating to empower our customers—both our freelancers and our clients. Three freelancer worries from your emails stood out to me and I want to address them immediately so you don’t need to be concerned. Read Full Article

All Things oDesk

How Freelancers Can Help You Celebrate More & Stress Less

December 17, 2013 by

With holidays and the end of the year looming, many business owners are burning the midnight oil—not just at work, but also with personal commitments to family and friends. Bringing freelance help on board gives you an extra pair of hands to help power through your to-do list. Here are 10 ways freelancers can help you manage the holidays and go full steam ahead into 2014. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Looking For a Client Holiday Gift? Try This First.

December 16, 2013 by

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… unless you’ve been tasked with finding a suitable holiday gift for your company’s high-priority clients. oDesk VP Matt Cooper recommends forgoing a physical gift and instead treating clients to a meal. In his recent column for Inc., he explains that a holiday lunch will not only help strengthen the trust between you and your customers, but it will also give you a chance to hear first-hand opinions from your most valued clients. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Discovering the Truth Using Team Culture Surveys

December 12, 2013 by

Any manager worth their salt understands that they must create a work environment that empowers their employees to succeed.The more puzzling question, however, is how to best measure something as abstract as that organizational environment. In this LinkedIn column, oDesk CEO Gary Swart discusses how a mostly anonymous team culture survey is one of the best way to gauge employee satisfaction and ability to be effective. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The Happiness Formula: 4 Keys to Job Satisfaction

December 10, 2013 by

There is no silver bullet for job satisfaction — it varies wildly depending on everything from age and educational background to introversion/extroversion and ambition. Despite these individual differences, oDesk CEO Gary Swart believes there are four fairly universal keys to happiness in one’s job: 1) impact, 2) growth and development, 3) financial reward, and 4) work-life balance. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The Way You Work: oDesk Client Govind Davis on Motivating Remote Teams

December 4, 2013 by

The co-founder and CEO of MCF Technology Solutions—a specialized systems integrator that designs, develops, and implements cloud-based platform solutions—Govind Davis has built an almost entirely virtual company. Aside from three local employees, his staff of approximately 60 people works remotely from around the world. Here, he shares five of his best pieces of advice on how to continuously cultivate and motivate remote teams. Read Full Article

Online Work Tips & Best Practices

PreScouter CEO: Building A Great Remote Team On oDesk

December 3, 2013 by

What does it take to build a great remote team? Within two years, our Illinois-based startup, PreScouter, has pulled together a team of 50 freelancers from around the world—all recruited and managed through the oDesk platform. PreScouter’s mission is to expose the world to inventions that would otherwise be lost; we don’t just introduce technology to our clients, we use it to fuel our own business growth. How? Using the best practices we’ve learned to find the right professionals and keep them engaged. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

Brand-Building 101: The Five Brand Habits of Successful Businesses

November 26, 2013 by

Creating a strong brand—one that’s positive, representative and recognizable—is essential for any company hoping to gain a leg up on its competition. That lesson may seem like business 101, but brand-building is much easier said than done. In this article for The Huffington Post, oDesk VP of Marketing Jaleh Bisharat presents 5 ways to strengthen your company's brand. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Your “Dream Team”: How Givers Can Be The Most Loyal Supporters

November 19, 2013 by

A highly functioning workplace team is made up of many different, but complementary, personality types. Software Advice decided to find out what makes some of their workplace’s top performers tick—so they enlisted a workforce psychologist to help understand what makes these employees great, what they struggle with and how they perform in certain roles. By better understanding your current and future team members, you too can assemble a “dream team” of top performers, placed in the roles they perform best. In her previous post, Software Advice Managing Editor Holly Regan described the Savant; here, she discusses another important member of your lineup—the Giver. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Leadership In A Virtual World: An Interview With Bernard Wilson

November 15, 2013 by

Located in Australia’s sparsely populated Northwest Territory, Darwin is better known for underground mines and tourist traps than for a bustling tech scene. But that hasn’t stopped Bernard Wilson. He’s capitalized on the power of remote work and cloud computing to forge his dream company, Primetime Entertainment. In the process, Wilson has learned valuable lessons on leadership and the importance of remote team relationships. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

The World Doesn't Need Another Silicon Valley

November 11, 2013 by

It seems every emerging startup hub worldwide aims to recreate the unique entrepreneurial conditions of California's Silicon Valley. But is that possible—or even advised? In his previous column for Inc.com, oDesk VP of International & Enterprise Matt Cooper interviewed Jon Bradford, the managing director of Techstars London about why entrepreneurs should think more like athletes. In his latest article—part II of that interview—Matt and Jon discuss how startups might actually benefit from being located outside Silicon Valley, and how other entrepreneurial hubs shouldn't necessarily aim to be the next Silicon Valley. Read Full Article